Wok Vs. Kadai – Which is Better and Why?

Both wok and Kadai or deep fry pan appear the same for normal kitchen users, but not for a cook. A real cook knows how a wok varies from a deep fry pan.

In case you are getting confused about which one is better to choose for your kitchen?

How do they differ and their price range?

This article will help you understand the difference between the two. You will know the difference between the two for a detailed understanding of wok vs. kadai and table-wise comparison. Let’s start by learning what a Kadai and a wok mean. 

What is a Kadai?

A Kadai or a deep fry pan is a round circular and thick utensil that acts as a cooking pot. Mainly a Kadai is used for kitchen businesses that are oriental. Kadai is primarily used in south-Asian cuisines, especially Indian.

A kadai is similar to a wok, but its walls are steep. Materials used for a Kadai are mainly stainless steel and copper. Kadai is best for cooking meat-related dishes such as chicken or mutton. The weight of a kadai is heavy ranging from 200 grams to 5 kilograms for domestic use. Before going to the main difference between wok and Kadai, let’s learn about what a wok is.

cooking in a kadai

What is a wok?

A typical wok mainly used in Chinese cuisine has thin walls but acts like a cooling pan. The shape of a wok is like a shallow bowl with screwed handles, and the bottom parts are round. The sloping side of a wok helps in keeping the dishes warm with a lesser amount of cooking. If you place a wok and burner at two burners of a gas stove, then for the wok, you would require a specialized wok stand. The handles of a wok are like two loops attached at the side of the kadai. 

The cookware material used for a wok is mainly carbon steel and aluminum with an average diameter of 30-85 cm. Now, for your better understanding of the main difference between wok and Kadai, look at the comparison chart of wok and kadai. Based on that, you can decide which type of cooking pan will best suit your cuisine or home kitchen. 

cooking in a wok

Wok vs. kadai comparison

Though both wok and kadai are used interchangeably by normal household individuals, they are not so. The kadai and wok comparison will bring more light to the confusion. 

Features Wok Kadai
The shape of the pan A wok comes with a round bottom. The bottom of a kadai is flat.
Foods cooked inside The food cooked for a wok is zucchini, broccoli, and other vegetables. The food cooked in a kadai is generally meat-based meals.
Materials used The material used for a wok is carbon steel. The material used for a kadai is stainless steel, aluminium, and copper material.
Sticky feature of the pans. The material base is not prone to sticking. A kadai is more prone to sticking if made of stainless steel.
Suitable for A wok is ideal for cooking Chinese foods. Kadai is used in Indian-styled foods.
Diameter of the pan. The diameter of a wok is 10 inches to 20 inches. The diameter of a kadai is 7 inches, 8. 5 inches, 11 inches, and even larger.
The capacity of the pan The capacity of the wok is for 4-12 individuals. The capacity of a kadai is 2-8 individuals.
Cost of the pan The cost of a wok is from Rs 1000 to Rs 5000. The cost of a wok is from Rs 800 to Rs 4000.
wok vs. kadai comparison with pros and cons

wok and Kadai Differences – Which is better?

Here we will analyze and compare the pros and cons of a kadai and a wok to find out which one is better for cooking.

Shape and Design of Wok and Kadai

You can easily make the difference between a kadai and a wok by looking at the shape of the two. Generally, a kadai is a flat bottom-shaped pan with sloped walls and a stainless-steel handle attached at the ends. Due to its sloppy walls, the oil and other fluids rest evenly across the bottom of the utensil.

As opposed to this, the design of the wok is different. The bottom of the wok is round; thus, all the liquids come down to the center spot. The walls of a wok are also sloppy that traps the heat much earlier than any other type of frying pan. The heat gets trapped instantly, and you can cook food in less time. It’s one of the main structural differences between Kadai and wok.

Kadai and Wok – Which has a better material for cooking?

The material used for a wok is mainly carbon steel. All the modern-day wok material through which it is composed are lightweight metals. The lightweight of the wok makes it easy to clean and portable. The wok is resilient as it differs from earlier cast iron cookware

For the wok vs. kadai comparison, the materials of kadai are composed of stainless steel or hard-anodized aluminium, which have versatile features. Along with that, the durability of the kadai gives the chief the reason to prefer one for the cuisines. Kadais are also safest from getting overheated. Use a kadai properly, and it will stay with you for years. 

Wok vs. kadai : Food cooked inside the pan

A wok is perfect for sautéing evenly sliced and diced vegetables like broccoli and carrots. It is because, unlike a Kadai with uniform prices of veggies, a wok will work incredibly faster for frying with decent results. In a Kadai, you can fry the entire meat by frying small pieces of meat, as typical for a wok. It is so because, for a wok, the bottom is not conducive to charring steak. However, with a kadai, you can pan-sear the whole piece of meat. 

Which has a non-stick property- wok or kadai?

If you are having the problem of the stickiness of food, then maybe a Kadai is not suited for you. The stainless steel material of a kadai is more prone to stickiness and is one of the major cons for kadai. You will have to face difficulty in cleaning the sticky walls of the Kadai. However, for a kadai, you can clean the pan with a dishwasher because it is safe to clean that way. As an alternative, you can also select one of the best non-stick cookware to fulfill your purpose.

You can get a wok to resolve stickiness because the materials used in a wok make it free from the worry of stickiness. Therefore, you can stir fry veggies in it. 

Suitable Cuisines for kadai and pan

As earlier shared in the article, the cuisine-wise difference between wok and Kadai is also worth considering in knowing their nature. Kadai is mostly used in southern Asia- Indian, Pakistani, and Afghani cuisines. They do not react to acidic foods. In a kadai, you can cook any type of non-vegetarian foods like fish curry, beef curry or chicken curry as they are great for brewing meat. 

A wok is exclusively used to prepare Chinese foods because of its heat retention capacity. They are also suitable for stir-fried veggies. 

Suitable pan Diameter

The diameter of a wok is more significant than a kitchen kadai. The typical diameters of a wok are around 10 inches to 20-inches. However, they are lightweight because of their carbon steel body. And they can deal with superheating. 

The diameter of kadais is of three types. For a home kadai, the diameter is 7 inches to 12 inches. But if you are using a kadai in cuisine, then the diameter is 11 inches. The size of the wok is, therefore, bigger than a kadai.

Kadai vs Wok – The pan capacity

The pan capacity for a kadai is for roughly two to eight individuals at a time. But the capacity of a wok is larger than that. A wok can cook food for at least five adult individuals. With a larger size, its capacity for cooking also increases. At maximum, a wok can cook food for up to twelve individuals.

Wok or Kadai – which one costs less?

Though the cost of both kadai and a wok depends on the size and the manufacturing brand, it is crucial to know the approximate price for a better comparison between kadai and wok. The average cost of a good quality wok is between Rs 1000 to Rs 5000. And for a kadai, the price range is from the dollar Rs 800 to Rs 4000. 

However, note that the price range can be more or less depending on the brand, size, and various other considerations. 

So, through the above in detail, you learned about the main difference between wok and kadai. Now it’s your turn to buy the one depending on your need and purpose for use. However, if you want to cook the meat, then a kadai is more suitable. And equally, for stirring veggies, a wok is appropriate.


Comparison of Other Cookware:

Hi! I am Koyeli, author of this article on Bestcookware. I have 10+ years of experience in cooking with various types of cookware and kitchen appliances. In these years I think I have dabbled into almost all aspects of cookware and have always struggled to get the correct information about them. So, I decided to combine all my experience into this blog and have covered many topics about cookware. If you have a question, comment here or contact me.

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